The Warmth of Other Suns

The Warmth of Other Suns

by

Isabel Wilkerson

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Joe Lee is George Gladney’s cousin, who lives near Edd Pearson’s plantation in Mississippi. He has a reputation for stealing things, so when his neighbor Addie B. loses her turkeys, she blames him. In response, Pearson and another planter named Willie Jim abduct, torture, and nearly kill Joe Lee—even though he’s actually innocent. This incident convinces George to move north with Ida Mae.

Joe Lee Quotes in The Warmth of Other Suns

The The Warmth of Other Suns quotes below are all either spoken by Joe Lee or refer to Joe Lee. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Migration and Freedom Theme Icon
).
Part Two: The Awakening Quotes

On the drive back home, George searched himself, hard and deep. This wasn’t the first beating, and it wouldn’t be the last. Joe Lee had lived, but he just as easily could have died. And there was not a thing anybody could do about it. As it was, Ida Mae felt George was in danger for asking Mr. Edd about it at all. Next time, it could be him. George had a brother in Chicago. Ida Mae’s big sister, Irene, was in Milwaukee and had been agitating for them to come north.

He made up his mind on the way back. He drove into the yard and went into the cabin to break the news to Ida Mae.

“This the last crop we making,” he said.

Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:
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Joe Lee Character Timeline in The Warmth of Other Suns

The timeline below shows where the character Joe Lee appears in The Warmth of Other Suns. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part Two: The Awakening
History, Memory, and Identity Theme Icon
The Economics of Racism Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
...brings a group of heavily armed white men to Ida Mae’s cabin to look for Joe Lee , George Gladney’s cousin and a notorious thief. Unbeknownst to Ida Mae, who has been... (full context)
Migration and Freedom Theme Icon
The Economics of Racism Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Decision, Consequence, and Regret Theme Icon
Chickasaw County, Mississippi, Fall 1937. The white mob ties Joe Lee up in the woods, beats him bloody with a chain, and takes him to jail.... (full context)